Smoking ban OK’d for Bidwell Park, AS proposal seeks student input

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Published 2013-03-06T06:00:00Z”/>


Tyler McCune • Nicholas Carr

<em>The Chico City Council passed another smoking ordinance under which people caught smoking in Bidwell Park can be issued citations.</em>

The Chico City Council voted Feb. 19 to pass an ordinance banning smoking in all of Bidwell Park, including the Bidwell Park Golf Course.

The ban was suggested by the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission.

Courtney Foster, Bidwell Park Golf Course general manager, is unhappy about the new ordinance, claiming it will hurt business at the course.

“I sent the park commission a letter a while back saying where I stood on the smoking ban,” she said. “I’m not a smoker, but they’re affecting business when they shouldn’t be.”

City Councilman Randall Stone was also against the ordinance because it doesn’t exempt the golf course.

“I am in full support of the ban on the basis that secondhand smoke kills,” Stone said. “In reasonably crowded areas, secondhand smoke infringes on a person’s peaceful enjoyment of city properties.”

As for the golf course, Stone cited muted fire and health risks because of the nature of the area.

“The secondhand smoke concern is virtually nil at the golf course,” he said. “If I choose to play in a group with smokers, the decision is similar to whether I wish to sit on the patio with smokers at a private residence.”

The course is already exempted from the current May through October fire season smoking ban because of its irrigation and patrol, he said.

Undeclared sophomore Kevin Baker is a smoker who frequents Bidwell Park.

“I understand what it is they’re trying to do, but I think laws on smoking are starting to come too close to infringement on personal rights,” he said.

Park rangers will likely enforce the ban by giving offenders an infraction citation, City Attorney Lori Barker said.

Riley Heath, a former Chico State student, is happy about the change, regardless of how it will be enforced.

“I think it’s a great thing,” Heath said. “The park is a beautiful place, and we should keep it that way.”

Main supporters of the ban cited fire danger, litter from cigarette butts and the negative health effects of secondhand smoke as reasons for the ban.

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<em>Students on campus were asked what they thought about a potential smoking ban being enforced throughout the California State University system.</em>

Associated Students President Jaypinderpal Virdee proposed a ballot initiative Monday about a smoking ban for the spring election.

This is in response to a resolution passed by the statewide Academic Senate for the California State University chancellor’s office to implement a smoking ban on all CSU campuses.

The initiative’s goal is to get student input and thoughts, Virdee said at Monday’s board of directors meeting.

While the initiative may be altered at future meetings, it currently offers three options for students to voice their opinions on tobacco:

I support a campuswide ban.

I would prefer designated smoking areas.

I don’t have an opinion.

“After we get the results, we’ll be presenting them to the chancellor’s office,” Virdee said.

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<strong>The Orion can be reached at</strong> <a href=”mailto:[email protected]”><em>[email protected]</em></a>

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